In mid-December I am off to LA for a quick three-day long-weekend trip. One day is completely taken with a bat-mitzvah celebration. Sunday and Friday have some free time.
I will be driving over a good chunk of real estate from LAX to Pasadena to the Getty area (is that in Brentwood?) and environs more or less.
I am looking for a number of specific recommendations.
On the drive from LAX to Pasadena are there any places worth stopping for a bite around 9 in the evening? I will need some supper after fasting on the flight, with little more than the fresh fruit plate. Specifically, any interesting Mexican/Korean and other Asian spots to hop off the freeway to explore on the surface roads?
On Friday I plan to visit the Getty on Friday morning. Between Pasadena and the Getty are there any similarly interesting spots for a breakfast bite and food market shopping? I realize that there are a number of alternative routes and if some have better food paths than others that might determine my precise itinerary.
Food at the Getty by most reports appears to be okay, but a bit overpriced. It might be worth picking up some tid-bits on the way there for eating later that day in the picnic area.
Unfortunately I saw the Houdon exhibit in DC this past summer and the ancient themes in medieval renderings which I would have liked to see will be closing before I get there. Obviously the permanent exhibits, museum grounds and site are more than worth the price of getting there, but I may not spend as much time once I have scoped the place out.
Any other interesting shows in LA in mid-December?
Your responses in part will determine my next destination. I will probably then wend my way back towards Pasadena. That evening I plan to take my hosts out to dinner. Is there any place worth trying in or near Pasadena? I have eaten around there in the past and don't remember anything exciting. She is Mexican. He is from SF. She knows Mexican food better than I can imagine and is very active in the community so I can't see finding some "authentic" Latino place for dinner, but interesting Korean or Thai might be fun. A number of places have been mentioned, notably Jitlada, but I have no idea how convenient it might be. I have not had really good Korean in a long time so that might be fun.
Her office is in the 91104 area code and he works around Claremont so I don't know if there would be some central node that would be convenient for all of us to meet at for dinner. For this dinner I would be comfortable spending up to $40-$50 per person, but I imagien that the kind of food I have in mind would be much less.
While I can't see Mexican with them, I may have a chance earlier in the day or perhaps on Sunday, when I gradually wend my way back to LAX to catch the red-eye back to the East Coast.
One thought that I had was to check out enough Mexican to get a sense of the regional differences of origin and destination between Chicago and LA Mexican cooking, since I will be in Chicago in the intervening weeks. However I doubt I will have the time to do anything systematic in either place.
Thanks for your suggestions